For the past two months, I have contributed to something called The Sampler. I heard about it on a great podcast: CraftyPod (moderator, Sister Diane). The Sampler is an artist’s exchange – artists send samples of their product to Marie Kare, the founder and operator. She then divides them up into boxes and auctions them off to the first 450 or so bidders. She also puts Samplers on E-Bay. They go for as much as $60. I know because that is how much I paid for mine (hey, I had to see what I was getting into – now I get them for free for contributing).
The past two months, I contributed 50 buttons that I had ordered on Cafe Press – part of my Loteria Celeste collection. I included a card with the URLs of my two current websites. We’ll see… Right now, it’s just fun to contribute and to see what I get each month.
Today was the first day of ITBS testing. And, for the first time in a year or two, I overslept. I usually wake up at 5:30 AM and hit snooze a couple of times – getting up around 5:48. I leave for school (a 35 minute drive) at between 6:12 and 6:18. This weekend, I set my alarm for 7:00 AM to make an appointment to get my car assessed by Geico. I forgot to reset it. Lucky for me, I woke up in time. I looked at the clock, and it was 6:12!!! Yikes!
I tell you what: I put in my contacts, threw on clothes, went downstairs and grabbed my lunch. Got in the car and the gas icon was flashing – no time for a refill then! I made it to school before 7:00 – looking ravishing, of course. I got my testing materials, went to my classroom, and the day zoomed by after that. Oh, I forgot my frozen entree for lunch, but at least I had salad and breakfast!
Exam weeks are always very surreal. Administrators are always experimenting with different test schedules – this week, I get to keep my little darlings (16 students, when my usual max is 9 in a classroom… I know – you’re jealous, but it’s not as easy as it seems!) from 8:20 to 11:00. That is, IF testing ends then. The students also are not allowed to leave the room during that time. That means no bathroom breaks, at all – except for me: I can call an aide to watch my classroom. Today, we finished up at around 10:15. Tomorrow, we are testing Math. The very best part is that, because my seventh grade students only have to take the Reading and Math tests, I have to find some way to entertain 9 of my students (my fifth period class) for 2 hours and 40 minutes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Can you say, “video”?
Today, I decided to treat my students like adults – colleagues, if you will, and show them my plans for Hispanic Heritage Month. I am the head of the Cultural Diversity committee at my school. Last year’s Hispanic Heritage Month was a good starting place for what I want it to be, but this year, I have bigger plans! Last year, I had a poster contest, and put the winning designs on Cafe Press. This year, I am designing the t-shirt and have put it up already. Since the theme this year is the Loteria (I know, big surprise!) and our school mascot is the Blue Devil, I have created a diablito azul card, and I really like it. I am getting better and better at PhotoShop, but I still had glitches. I hope to upload this design, with its papel picado logo, on another CafePress site. The trouble with last years’ designs was that they didn’t go up until November, and there never was a satisfactory way to collect money.
So, I showed my students the cute calendar I made in Microsoft Publisher – each day has a Loteria card assigned to it. There will be a different topic each day on the announcements: everything from Pancho Villa to Lucha Libre. I hope to get my students to help with setting up displays. Tomorrow, I am going to go around and take pictures of the different display cases and bulletin boards around the school to see what my options are.